Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

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Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by flyingturns89 on Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:46 am

The IndyCar Series opens its 2016 season this week on the streets of St. Petersburg. It was one year ago that Juan Pablo Montoya began a dominate season with a win at St. Pete and held until the final race of the season where he was passed by 2015 series champion Scott Dixon. This year, Montoya looks for redemption as he makes another run for the title. This race also marks the return of James Hinchcliffe, who will start his first race since his devastating wreck in practice for last year's Indy 500. This year also brings in a new class of talent, as former F1 drivers Max Chilton and Alexander Rossi, as well as open-wheel standout Conor Daly run for Rookie of the Year. After almost six months of waiting, it's time for IndyCar to fire the engines again.

This week's entry list features 22 cars, 21 of which are scheduled to run full time. Only 2015 Indy Lights champion Spencer Pigot is running part time. Pigot is currently scheduled to run this race, the Indy GP, and the Indy 500.

Entry List
#2 Juan Pablo Montoya - Team Penske
#3 Helio Castroneves - Team Penske
#5 James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
#7 Mikhail Aleshin - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
#8 Max Chilton - Chip Ganassi Racing
#9 Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Racing
#10 Tony Kanaan - Chip Ganassi Racing
#11 Sebastien Bourdais - KVSH Racing
#12 Will Power - Team Penske
#14 Takuma Sato - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
#15 Graham Rahal - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
#16 Spencer Pigot - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
#18 Conor Daly - Dale Coyne Racing
#19 Luca Filippi - Dale Coyne Racing
#21 Josef Newgarden - Ed Carpenter Racing
#22 Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske
#26 Carlos Munoz - Andretti Autosport
#27 Marco Andretti - Andretti Autosport
#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay - Andretti Autosport
#41 Jack Hawksworth - A.J. Foyt Enterprises
#83 Charlie Kimball - Chip Ganassi Racing
#98 Alexander Rossi - Andretti Herta Autosport
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by PackerMan71 on Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:24 pm

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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by JMac525 on Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:30 pm

PackerMan71 wrote:

All of this. My body is ready for a new Indycar season.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by The_Wall_91 on Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:34 pm

I will be interested in seeing how Alexander Rossi will do this season. He recently was named the relief driver for Manor Russia and going full time Indy Car, this might be the rise of a superstar in open wheel racing.

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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by Cynon on Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:54 am

The_Wall_91 wrote:I will be interested in seeing how Alexander Rossi will do this season. He recently was named the relief driver for Manor Russia and going full time Indy Car, this might be the rise of a superstar in open wheel racing.

Might be. I wasn't overly impressed with his GP2/GP3 results but his F1 stint last year went pretty well, given that he was a midseason replacement. I still think he'd be more at home in F1 than in IndyCar but we'll see.

Will be interesting to see how Ed Carpenter's team goes this week as a (mostly) one car operation. Heard something from Katherine about Pastor Maldonado (who I love for all the wrong reasons) possibly getting a run in the #20 car but it's not entered this week. Can't be good news for the team and I'd imagine that morale there and at KVSH probably took a bit of a hit. I think Bourdais knows how to handle being in a one car team (KVSH practically was a one car team last year anyway) and Newgarden probably does too (ditto).

Still expect Power to dominate the weekend unless he blows up or wrecks on the first lap (or first lap after a restart). Will Power dominates St. Pete like Michael Andretti dominated Toronto in his day (came back from first lap contact to win the Toronto Smashfest of 2001) and Little Al dominated Long Beach (though he never did run on the current layout outside of the Pro/Celebrity race -- which is easier to pass on, and Little Al never was good in qualifying so that really says something about how well he handled the track in race trim).

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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by Alta on Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:45 pm

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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by pennst24 on Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:39 pm

Wish there was about 26 in this field instead of 21. Would be a lot more fun with guys like Chaves, Hildebrand, MALDOLAN, Legge, etc. Should be an interesting season nonetheless.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by umatbru on Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:02 pm

Can't watch the race as I'm on holiday and have limited Internet. Also three drivers are left without a drive but will probably show at the Indy 500. (Sebastian Saavedra, Ryan Briscoe and Stefano Coletti)


Last edited by umatbru on Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : James Jakes has left for the WEC.)
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by Alta on Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:22 pm

Power takes the pole for St.Pete, almost got down into the 59's while apparently sick as hell.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by SpeedDemon37 on Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:31 pm

It's been a long offseason, and I'd say there's a lot to look forward to for this year. Let's go racing! Very Happy
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by BooyakaDragon on Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:36 am

I don't think Chaves is taking being ride less too well :/

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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by PackerMan71 on Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:11 am

BooyakaDragon wrote:I don't think Chaves is taking being ride less too well :/


Can't say I blame him.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by RyanB06 on Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:20 am

Speaking of Will Power...his nausea isn't any better and he won't be racing today. Oriol Servia has been brought in to replace him, starting at the rear of the field.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by PackerMan71 on Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:34 am

RyanB06 wrote:Speaking of Will Power...his nausea isn't any better and he won't be racing today. Oriol Servia has been brought in to replace him, starting at the rear of the field.

Must be worse than we thought if its causing Will Power to give up a pole-winning car.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by Ben Atkins on Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:37 am

PackerMan71 wrote:
RyanB06 wrote:Speaking of Will Power...his nausea isn't any better and he won't be racing today. Oriol Servia has been brought in to replace him, starting at the rear of the field.

Must be worse than we thought if its causing Will Power to give up a pole-winning car.

I heard a rumour it might be due to a concussion.

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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by PackerMan71 on Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:07 pm

Ben Atkins wrote:
PackerMan71 wrote:
RyanB06 wrote:Speaking of Will Power...his nausea isn't any better and he won't be racing today. Oriol Servia has been brought in to replace him, starting at the rear of the field.

Must be worse than we thought if its causing Will Power to give up a pole-winning car.

I heard a rumour it might be due to a concussion.

He did have a hard crash in Friday practice, so it's definitely possible.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by Lucstar88 on Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:06 pm

we got a parking lot and a double bird.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by RetrogradeRenegade on Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:07 pm

Oh man that restart from Daly. Took absolutely no crap from Kanaan - I knew he had that in him.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by RealRacer4 on Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:08 pm

PackerMan71 wrote:
Ben Atkins wrote:
PackerMan71 wrote:
RyanB06 wrote:Speaking of Will Power...his nausea isn't any better and he won't be racing today. Oriol Servia has been brought in to replace him, starting at the rear of the field.

Must be worse than we thought if its causing Will Power to give up a pole-winning car.

I heard a rumour it might be due to a concussion.

He did have a hard crash in Friday practice, so it's definitely possible.

Well, Jerry Punch reported that he was, in fact, diagnosed with a concussion. Makes me wonder what will happen with Team Penske since they made Will Power qualify knowing he showed some signs of a concussion.

In other news, a traffic jam just happened, involving half the field. I can see Munoz getting penalized for triggering the wreck.

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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by PackerMan71 on Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:11 pm

Munoz with the fail of the race so far.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by BooyakaDragon on Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:06 pm

Kanaan rebounds to 10th, I'll take it.

and hell of a run for Montoya and Aleshin.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by bigdc48 on Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:08 pm

Good win Montoya. And Pagenaud, Hunter-Reay, Caatroneves and Aleshin in the top 5. Good race overall. A 6.5/10.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by PackerMan71 on Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:28 pm

Well, it's been a while since I've done one of these, so it's time to knock the rust off. Laughing

2016 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg review:

First impression: Eh, not bad. Could've been better.

Good clean start for once, although we did see Sato, Hinchcliffe and Newgarden have trouble on the first lap for either flat tires or damage.

Close call by Castroneves on that first pit stop, coming from the outside to the pit road when there were cars coming from behind. As Cooper said on TeamSpeak, looked like something the AI in NR2003 would do.

I was kind of surprised that Hunter-Reay wasn't penalized for blocking Luca Fillipi, especially since it caused significant damage to both cars. Bit of fail by RHR, but he did get on the podium in the closing laps when he passed Castroneves.

Of course, the fail moment of the race occured on Lap 57. While a great battle for the lead was happening between Conor Daly, who inherited the race lead after everyone pitted on the caution when Marco Andretti spun in turn 1, and Tony Kanaan, Carlos Munoz seemed to forget where the brake pedal was when he divebombed Graham Rahal in turn 4, causing a massive parking lot that saw nine cars get damage. That is a Darwin award candidate if I ever saw one.

Of course, it wasn't long after the restart when Juan Pablo Montoya took the lead from Daly and didn't look back, and he cruised to his second straight win at St. Pete. Simon Pagenaud finished 2nd, but that is yet another race that has gotten away from him. Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the podium.

Star of the Race: Conor Daly, without question. Even though he got the lead on strategy, he was running lap times comparable to Montoya's. Too bad he had a broken wing he had to repair late in the race which took him out of the running. I have a feeling he'll have more chances to run up front this year, though.

Reject of the Race: Carlos Munoz, again without question. ARCA-braking into turn 4 and causing a parking lot really makes you look like a derp.

FINAL RATING: Overall, it was an alright race. It wasn't really a barnburner, but then again, we don't really expect that out of St. Pete. But it does provide decent racing on a regular basis, at least, and there were some good battles during the race that I enjoyed, so I'll give this race a 5.5/10. Wasn't great, but wasn't bad either.

Next up, IndyCar makes its return to Phoenix, and hopefully Will Power will be out of concussion protocol by then.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by Alta on Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:25 pm

Solid race.

I think Power will be okay for Phoenix, actually pretty surprised that hit gave him a concussion but then again the soft ones are usually the worst for the driver.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by JMac525 on Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:10 pm

Besides the Munoz fail, I thought this was another pretty good race at St Pete.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by RetrogradeRenegade on Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:15 pm

It was pretty good, as far as St. Pete goes. Races are always automatically better when Dale Coyne can strategery it up and get a car in the mix, and Daly was an absolute hero for mixing it up with the Penskes for as long as he did. Also, shoutout to Ganassi for bringing the classic yellow stripes back to the Target livery - man that was cool to see.

Munoz was the obvious fail of the race here, of course, but I'd also like to mention Eddie Cheever, whose commentary I found exceptionally bad, even by his own terrible standards. I lost track of the amount of times he managed to irritate me with his bumbling garbage.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by The_Wall_91 on Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:30 pm

RetrogradeRenegade wrote:Munoz was the obvious fail of the race here, of course, but I'd also like to mention Eddie Cheever, whose commentary I found exceptionally bad, even by his own terrible standards. I lost track of the amount of times he managed to irritate me with his bumbling garbage.

Eddie Cheever is the Darrell Waltrip of Indycar, better driver than commentator.

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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by Alta on Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:36 pm

RetrogradeRenegade wrote:It was pretty good, as far as St. Pete goes. Races are always automatically better when Dale Coyne can strategery it up and get a car in the mix, and Daly was an absolute hero for mixing it up with the Penskes for as long as he did. Also, shoutout to Ganassi for bringing the classic yellow stripes back to the Target livery - man that was cool to see.

Munoz was the obvious fail of the race here, of course, but I'd also like to mention Eddie Cheever, whose commentary I found exceptionally bad, even by his own terrible standards. I lost track of the amount of times he managed to irritate me with his bumbling garbage.
I heard he was a walking indy 500 commercial.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by RetrogradeRenegade on Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:22 pm

The_Wall_91 wrote:
RetrogradeRenegade wrote:Munoz was the obvious fail of the race here, of course, but I'd also like to mention Eddie Cheever, whose commentary I found exceptionally bad, even by his own terrible standards. I lost track of the amount of times he managed to irritate me with his bumbling garbage.

Eddie Cheever is the Darrell Waltrip of Indycar, better driver than commentator.

Yes but at least DW has a personality. Cheever doesn't even have that. Unless you count sounding condescending as a personality.

Alta wrote:I heard he was a walking indy 500 commercial.

Pretty much - I think he said it so much it kinda cancelled itself out.
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Re: Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg

Post by SpeedDemon37 on Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:01 pm

Was personally disappointed to see Hinchcliffe find trouble so early and to see Rahal get wrecked while having a solid run, but this was an all right race to me. It became rather uneventful near the end, but there have been worse before. Although I think that the fact that this was the first IndyCar race in so many months made it more enjoyable for me.
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